You Might Be Missing The Whole Value Thing

by Paul Castain on December 16, 2012

Companies spend a tremendous amount of time and energy crafting value propositions.

Too many times their sales meetings and conventions turn into a brainwashing session in how to deliver the value proposition.

Meanwhile . . .the customers and prospects could care less.


Because it was based on perception and not in reality

It was something that sounded really cool in a boardroom, in company meetings and conventions but nobody outside of the team gets why its valuable.

Most importantly . . . nobody asked the customer and then delivered the value case by case, one on one.

I have clients that enjoy being able to tap into my experience level to help them navigate some really challenging issues.

Others who loved the change in morale after working with me.

Others who are all about the top line growth and reduction of turnover.

I could go on and on but the point is this . . . I mean different things to different people and so do you.

I think this speaks to the questions we ask our prospects and continue to ask them when they become clients.

It speaks to our ability to listen.

It speaks to our ability to adapt and deliver on what’s important to THEM!

When was the last time you really thought about your value to each of your clients individually?

More importantly, when was the last you asked them about the things that are most meaningful to them.

I’m a big fan of “Start Stop Continue” discussions as a tool to determine what’s valuable to them.

Start as in “Mr/Ms Client, what are some things that we aren’t doing or offering that you’d love to see?” This question has an added benefit. Many times we offer something and clients aren’t aware of it. For example, I have sales training clients who tell me they’d love for me to offer individual coaching. Guess what? I do!

Stop as in “Mr/Ms Client, what are some things that we’re doing that you wish we’d stop doing?” This is a tough question to ask because it requires you to tell your ego to go wait in the car. You need to take your medicine and resist the urge to push back and you sure as hell don’t ask the question just to ask it. You need to be prepared to care enough to do something about it.

Continue as in “Mr/Ms Client, what are some things that we’re doing that you find valuable and we’d love for us to continue doing?” This question allows me to see things all the time that I miss because I do them everyday. For example, when I first started Castain Training Systems, several people told me that they love the follow up reinforcement program that kicks in after the classroom training. I assumed everyone offered this. I was wrong. As a result I started mentioning this to prospects and increased my sales.

So here’s the bottom line . . .

What I think is valuable to you . . . Might not be.

Value should not be assumed and then delivered in bulk

It might have sounded really cool in my conference room but unfortunately gets an all caps “SO WHAT?” when I try to deliver it.

Your turn . . .

What makes you valuable to your clients?

What makes you so sure?

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  • Stephen Lahey

    Great points, Paul! I have a similar approach – asking clients questions on what they would like me to do more of, less of, or just differently. So important to ask the right questions and actually listen to clients.

  • I like it Stephen . . . Well done!

    Happy holidays to you and your family!

  • Stephen Lahey

    Thanks – you too, Paul! Remember, no prospecting on 12/25! : )

  • Ha! I’ll set a reminder on my phone 🙂

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